With so many pros and cons of VoIP, it may seem bewildering for small business owners to get a coherent answer as to whether it’s a good idea to install it in their offices. This post takes a look at the main points of consideration for VoIP software installation in SMEs.
If you run a workforce that is apprehensive about switching from traditional telephony systems to VoIP, it’s essential that everyone sees the benefits and receives a good standard of training and information. It’s important to stress to your employees the virtues of the software compared to the older system they’re used to; productivity and less hardware in the office due to VoIP is a huge benefit.
Pros of VoIP
There are many advantages with VoIP that will be beneficial for many SMEs who use telephony systems already. Switching to VoIP will usually entail lower cost to standard telephony which is the biggest benefit. Other benefits include the fact that generally, VoIP software is available with monthly subscription without a set contract. Other benefits that can be exploited:
- Less hardware in the office – old or existing phone systems can be replaced.
- Little new hardware investment is required as the software can be integrated on current systems.
- You’ll get flexibility in cost and provision plans; places like Gradwell will offer a range of plans.
- Unlimited calling is a common feature on most VoIP plans which can mean significant savings on calls in busy office environments.
- Connectivity with mobile devices and data connections is an option, meaning access to the network can be gained remotely with appropriate software setup.
- Scalability is easy as adding new extensions to a VoIP network is quicker and much easier than installing traditional systems.
- More features than a standard phone including IM software and a user interface.
- ‘Virtual receptionist’/audio holding menu is available.
Pitfalls of VoIP
Now, with all those benefits, it’s hard to see where VoIP can go wrong, however it’s pertinent to get the bigger picture and check the potential cons against your business needs. Loss of internet connection in your office will result in the temporary disconnection of VoIP services; calls during dropout periods can be forwarded to voicemail for later pickup, however. Emergency calling isn’t an option with VoIP so you will need adequate provision of traditional phone lines for safety. Unlimited calling may come with extra costs to mobiles or other lines, especially when international calls are concerned.
Installing VoIP is an investment that has significant benefits; it’s essential to read the fine print to work out if it’s right for your business so you can get the best out of the service.